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Helping you to...reduce your stress levels

Managing stress 

Stress can have a significant impact on how you think, feel and behave.

 

Stress feels different for everyone, but common symptoms can include sleeping problems, loss of appetite, headaches, muscle pain or tension and irritability. It can be difficult to concentrate or think clearly, and even simple tasks can feel overwhelming.

 

Over time, chronic stress can lead to anxiety, depression and long-term physical health problems.

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​A little stress is normal and manageable and can even be useful, triggering adrenaline to help us perform better, for example meeting a work deadline. But all too often stress can tip over into distress. There's an evolutionary reason for this -  humans evolved to by identifying threats to keep us safe. When we sense threat, we release hormones to help us react faster. This response can be useful if we are in a genuinely threatening situation, but all too often "everyday" situations can leave our minds and bodies in a constant state of stress.

 

If you feel overwhelmed by stress, you are not alone.  The largest known study of stress levels in the UK (Mental Health Foundation, May '18) found that three in every four people in the UK had felt so stressed in the year prior to the survey that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.  And without doubt, the challenges of the pandemic have exacerbated the existing feelings of stress for so many of us.

Together, we can tackle the physical consequences of stress with progressive muscle relaxation, coherent breathing and mindfulness techniques. Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) lends itself to help you attain a state of psychological flexibility, when you feel you can deal with stressful situations without becoming overwhelmed, while Cognitive Behavioural Therapy tools can be used to change your relationship with the typically negative thoughts that caused your stress in the first place.

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Let's work together to reduce your stress levels

There are many ways to reduce stress and we can work at it together from different angles simultaneously for quick results.

If you feel ready to talk to me about the stress you're experiencing, please reach out to book a consultation call.

A unique approach

Due to the personal nature of therapy, it's difficult to prescribe simply a "one size fits all" approach for a specific issue. My approach involves a blend of various therapy techniques, tailored specifically to provide you with the support and guidance that I feel would benefit you.

If you have any questions about the modalities mentioned below, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Modalities
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FRAMEWORKS & MODALITIES:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
    Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is one of the most widely accepted therapies, and for good reason. It can deliver highly effective results, relatively quickly and is backed up by a mountain of evidence. The theory of CBT is based on the three way interrelationship between cognitions (thoughts and beliefs), feelings and behaviours, often referred to as the ‘cognitive triangle’. It centres on the idea that it is not life’s events themselves that cause us problems, but rather the way in which we interpret them. In other words, the way in which we think about the world impacts our behaviour – and ultimately how we feel. Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH) combines Clinical Hypnotherapy with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and seamlessly integrates the social, cognitive and behavioural psychology and psychotherapy with a modern approach to hypnosis. In combination, changes are generally quicker and more powerful. Hypnosis draws on the power of your own mind and imagination in helping you find the solutions to your issues. You probably already know how powerful your mind is - we can invent, create, experience and destroy things with thoughts alone.
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
    Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT - pronounced as the word ‘act’) is an evidence-based psychotherapy that aims to empower people to be more willing to accept discomfort and pain of any sort – which it sees as unavoidable - in order to live a fuller, more meaningful life. It differs from traditional cognitive behavioural therapy in that, instead of teaching people to control their thoughts, feelings and actions, ACT teaches us to notice, accept, embrace and act in line with our values. While reducing psychological symptoms and emotional pain is part of the therapeutic process, the primary goal in ACT is to help you accept the realities of life and create a richer sense of purpose, meaning and satisfaction. Transforming our relationship with our thoughts and emotions, rather than trying to change them or wishing them away, is the key to healing and realizing our true potential. We learn to see them as harmless - albeit uncomfortable - and let them come and go without interfering. As such, the goal of therapy is to learn how to deal with painful experiences and help clarify what is truly important and meaningful to us so we can more fully engage in doing what truly matters to us.
  • Breathwork
    Your breath is your brain’s remote control! Everyday we take more than 17,000 breaths but chances are, which is probably not something to which you've given much thought. Breathing is one of a very few functions in the body that run perfectly well independently, but where we can also take conscious control. This is one of my primary aims when working with you, as breathwork is much more than just a topical wellbeing trend (*). The breath is a bridge between the mind and the body and the way we breathe influences many different aspects of our physical and mental health. All of our thoughts and feelings interact with our bodies via breath. Whether we're feeling stressed, sluggish or anxious, our breathing has the power to centre us and make us feel better. When we harness breathwork, we can use our bodies to tell our minds to slow down. This is particularly helpful when we're feeling overwhelmed or worrying or when our minds are racing. From a physical aspect, focus on the breath can cause the harmful effects of cortisol to be lowered (also known as the stress hormone) and heart rate, blood pressure and inflammation markers adjusted, to name just a few potential benefits. On top of that, it also gives you a sense of control, it is free and you always carry it with you. Coherent breathing is the main of several breathing techniques I work with (5 to 6 breaths a minute - also called the universal breath). It provides one of the best and easiest ways to make a profound difference to your health and happiness by increasing heart rate variability (HRV) and balancing the stress-response systems. When our breath becomes more coherent, our heart rate variability becomes more coherent, helping every system in our body become more coherent. With everything working more optimally we build greater strength and resilience, enabling us to recover and rebound from challenging events. Research is still in its infancy regarding the full effects of coherent breathing; however, there is lots of promising news. We know that this type of breathing can be helpful for insomnia, anxiety, depressive symptoms, stress, immune system response, menopausal symptoms, migraines, alertness, concentration, vitality, post-traumatic stress disorder, and attention deficit disorder. (*) Slow breathing techniques at rates of 5-6 breaths per minute have actually been known for centuries and are found in Yoga, Qigong and Buddhist meditation as well as in many lullabies and prayers.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR)
    Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is an anxiety-reduction technique first introduced by American physician Edmund Jacobson in the 1930s. The technique involves alternating tension and relaxation in all of the body's major muscle groups in turn. When your body is physically relaxed, it calms your mind and you cannot feel anxious. Clients often find that the symptoms of long-standing ailments are drastically reduced as a side-effect.
  • The Rewind Technique
    The Rewind technique is a comfortable and effective treatment that can greatly reduce, and even remove, traumatic or phobic symptoms quickly through relaxation and guided imagery, all without even having to talk about the details of the traumatic incident(s) in question. Information from a non-traumatic event will normally be transferred from short-term memory (also known as working memory) to long-term memory through a very old part of the brain called the hippocampus. However, during a traumatic experience, because the body’s survival mechanism is activated, the presence of stress hormones within the body inhibits the hippocampus from processing the information in the usual way. Therefore, the memory of the traumatic event becomes trapped or stuck in short-term memory, and a person will feel like they are involuntarily re-living the traumatic event in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, repetitive and distressing images, or physical sensations. Whilst in deep relaxation the Rewind technique can help significantly reduce, or in some cases remove, PTSD symptoms and this often in just one or two sessions. If you have any questions about the Rewind Technique, or you want to explore how I can help, click here to get in touch.
  • Reiki
    Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is an ancient Japanese technique used to balance out body, mind and emotions. It is well recognised as a route to reducing stress and promoting relaxation, which in turn benefits our sleep, immune system and general health and wellbeing. Reiki is based on the idea that we have a 'life force energy' (known as ki, chi, qi or prana) that flows within our bodies and is centred around our chakras. When this energy is low or blocked in our chakras, it makes us more likely to become unwell. It is a non-intrusive treatment performed with clients remaining fully clothed. My hands will be gently resting on and/or slightly raised above your body and you will feel deeply relaxed.
  • Integrative hypnotherapy
    Integrative hypnotherapy is a targeted, short course therapy. This means that it doesn’t drag on for months and, while we talk in some depth about what is going on with you, we do not spend a great deal of time delving into your past. We concentrate on what will make your specific problem manageable in the here and now and equip you with the tools to manage the future. The idea is to help you move forward with your life, and most people find that once they start creating new, healthy patterns, they become self-reinforcing, and virtuous cycles replace the vicious ones.
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“Everything you need, your courage, your strength, compassion and love; everything you need is already within you.”

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